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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Hidden Villa volunteer rediscovers fountain of youth as a tour guide


Laurie Aubuchon/Special to the Town Crier
Hidden Villa volunteer Peter Thurston crawls through The Rabbit Hole, one of the few guides to attempt passage through the small space. The tunnel allows visiting children to enter the farm’s organic Education Garden.

Being a kid again is one of the benefits Peter Thurston, 73, enjoys about volunteering at Hidden Villa. The retired marketing programs director at IBM Storage Systems joined the Hidden Villa Board of Trustees in 2009.

In his role as Hidden Villa farm and nature guide, Thurston teaches schoolchildren from all over the Bay Area about the nonprofit educational farm and wilderness area located in Los Altos Hills.

While his enthusiasm about the job is not unique among Hidden Villa guides, on occasion his method of entry into the organic Education Garden is. Scooting on his belly, using his forearms and feet to propel himself forward, he has delighted children by crawling through a diminutive portal called The Rabbit Hole – a child-sized tunnel into the garden.

Exploring the surrounding hills, Thurston said he strives to make the children comfortable.

“We focus on making the kids fall in love with nature,” he said. “They fall in love, and then they learn.”

Guides promote the connection by hiking and playing games with the children as they facilitate farm experiences.

“Every time I’m done with a tour, I really feel good,” Thurston said.

Residents of Los Altos Hills for 43 years, Thurston, his wife Carol and their three now-grown children have enjoyed many walks at Hidden Villa.

“My wife had them all go to camp here,” Thurston said of Hidden Villa’s summer camps.

Thurston also contributes his time at Environmental Volunteers and Filoli, but his Hidden Villa experience is special.

“Being on the board is a real honor,” he said, “but being with the kids is a real joy. I’ve never had a bad day here. I really haven’t.”

Hidden Villa invites potential volunteer guides to observe an upcoming school tour 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the preserve, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Call 949-8643 prior to joining the tour.

If visitors subsequently decide to volunteer, all necessary training is provided free of charge. No experience is required.

For more information, call 949-8643 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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